REVIEW: Jack in the Box Southwest Monster Taco

Jack in the Box Southwest Monster Taco

They say if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

But I’m quite sure the person who came up with that saying never saw the meat in a Jack in the Box taco. It’s the only taco meat in the known universe that makes school cafeteria and Taco Bell taco meat look damn good. When I asked on Twitter for ways to describe Jack’s taco meat, I received these responses: cat food, potted, jacked, slop, and already chewed for you.

But despite the meat looking like the droppings of an animal that ate something that its stomach didn’t agree with, they make Jack in the Box’s tacos oddly satisfying. Yes, I’m writing this sober.

The latest taco from Jack in the Box is their Southwest Monster Taco. It’s stuffed with their finely ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, black beans, roasted corn, grilled onions, and a creamy Southwest Sauce.

If you love black beans and corn as much as Winnie the Pooh loves honey and your eight year old niece still loves Frozen even though the damn movie came out almost a year ago, you’ll like what the Southwest Monster Taco offers. There’s a good serving of both ingredients, although only the corn seems to have any flavor, providing a little sweetness. I thought the black beans would, at least, significantly up the fiber content of the taco, but they only added a gram more of fiber over a regular Monster Taco.

Jack in the Box Southwest Monster Taco Innards

Despite having large grilled onion pieces in my taco, which didn’t appear to be grilled, they didn’t have as much breath-ruining flavor as I hoped. But along with the corn, they give the taco a different crunchy texture than the taco shell. As for the Southwest Sauce, it has a mild smoky flavor that complement the ground beef and it has a barely noticeable level of heat.

The Jack in the Box Southwest Monster Taco’s flavor doesn’t pop as much as the Nacho and Original Monster Tacos, but I think it’s still a decent addition to the Monster Taco lineup and I would probably buy it again…sober, drunk, or high.

(Nutrition Facts – 353 calories, 213 calories from fat, 24 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 32 milligrams of cholesterol, 483 milligrams of sodium, 269 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Southwest Monster Taco
Purchased Price: $1.99*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Lots of corn and black beans. Sweet corn. Southwest Sauce a decent smoky flavor. Love the flavor of the taco shell…well, the parts that aren’t grease soaked.
Cons: Wish the sauce was a bit spicier. Black beans don’t up the fiber content and don’t have much flavor. Grilled onions lacked flavor. Useless shredded cheddar cheese. Ground beef is still not very pretty to look at.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Spicy Sriracha Burger

Jack in the Box Spicy Sriracha Burger

I imagine there are a number of you who got really excited when you saw the the word “sriracha” in the title of this review. In your head, you’re probably yelling, “SRIRACHA!!!” But I am here to extinguish your excitement like milk extinguishes the capsaicin in your mouth when you eat something spicy.

I can understand your excitement because my head was screaming, “SRIRACHA!!!” after I ordered one. However, my head was thinking something else after I ate it.

The Spicy Sriracha Burger looks like a Sourdough Jack that’s been given a make over by a Subway Sandwich Artist. It has a beef patty, hickory smoked bacon, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickled jalapeño slices, and a creamy sriracha sauce on a toasted sourdough bun.

I’m not sure why Jack went with the shredded lettuce. Their lettuce is awful to begin with, so shredding it won’t make it better. But shredding it does make the burger messy. Despite a kung-fu grip around my burger, the lettuce kept falling out. You might be thinking that’s a good thing because the lettuce is so sad, but it’s not because the sad lettuce was usually coated with the creamy sriracha sauce. So if I let the lettuce fall, most of the sauce won’t be in the burger.

Yup. I just spent an entire paragraph talking about lettuce. But the shredded lettuce isn’t the worst problem.

Jack in the Box Spicy Sriracha Burger 2

It’s the jalapeños.

I raved about the flavor and heat of Jack’s jalapeños in previous menu items, like their Jalapeño Ranch Ultimate Cheeseburger, but that had “jalapeño” in its name. This menu item does not, but it sure tastes like it does. If you’re hoping to get the sweet, spicy, and garlicky flavor of sriracha, I’m sorry to say your hopes and taste buds are going to be smothered by the jalapeños’ flavor and heat. Granted, Jack’s creamy sriracha sauce, as I learned with their Sausage Grande Breakfast Burrito, is noticeably mild compared with the Rooster Sauce, but it should be the sriracha that stands out, not the jalapeño.

There were bites here and there when I could taste other ingredients in the burger, like the bacon’s smokiness and the thin, dry burger patty, but it was mostly The Jalapeño Show Starring Jalapeño Jalapeño with musical guests Jalapeño and cameos by Bacon and Beef Patty.

So if the thought of sriracha excites you and makes you scream “SRIRACHA!!!” in your head, I’d recommend skipping Jack in the Box’s Spicy Sriracha Burger. But if the thought of jalapeño excites you and makes you scream “JALAPENO!!!” in your head, I’d recommend Jack in the Box’s Spicy Sriracha Burger.

(Nutrition Facts – 691 calories, 411 calories from fat, 46 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat, 2 grams of trans fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 1612 milligrams of sodium, 478 milligrams of potassium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Spicy Sriracha Burger
Purchased Price: $7.49 (small combo)
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Great if you love jalapeño. Flavor of bacon and beef patty pops up every so often behind the jalapeño. Good heat, thanks to the jalapeño.
Cons: Bad if you love sriracha because the creamy sriracha sauce isn’t noticeable. Thin beef patty. Sad shredded lettuce falls out easily, taking much of the sriracha sauce with it. The number of times I used “jalapeño” in a sriracha burger review.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Grande Sausage Breakfast Burrito

Jack in the Box Sausage Grande Breakfast Burrito Foilless

When I put the Jack in the Box Grande Sausage Breakfast Burrito on the table, I said out loud, “Holy crap! It’s as large as my forearm.”

Then I thought, “Holy crap! Do I have small forearms? Do I have weak forearms? Are my small forearms the reason why I could never win at arm wrestling? Why is this pen so heavy?”

After I stopped being self-conscious, I peeled back the foil the burrito was wrapped in and then I peeled back the flour tortilla to reveal the burrito’s sausage, scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon crumbles, shredded pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese sauce, and creamy sriracha sauce.

The burrito also comes with a container of fire roasted salsa. But if you decide to spend your hard earned money on a Jack in the Box Grande Sausage Breakfast Burrito, grab that container of salsa, throw it as far as you can, yell, “Suck it, salsa! Your services are not needed at this time!”, and then get ticketed for littering.

This breakfast burrito doesn’t need the chunky condiment thanks to the sriracha sauce, which has a mild garlicky and chili pepper flavor. If you do use the salsa, you’ll find it chompblocks the sriracha’s flavor. While the sriracha has a lot of flavor, it doesn’t have much heat. So if you’re a fan of spicy sriracha, you’ll be one sad rooster.

You’ll also be one sad piggie if you were hoping the bacon crumbles would have your mouth bursting with salty, greasy, and porky goodness. They don’t, but the sausage does.

Oh wait. One more. Sad animal.

You’ll also be one sad cow if you were hoping the shredded pepper jack would bring a little heat and peppery flavor. It doesn’t. The cheddar cheese sauce definitely dominates the other cheese.

Jack in the Box Sausage Grande Breakfast Burrito Cut

The scrambled eggs didn’t really stand out, flavor-wise, which I expected. But my burrito came with a good serving of it, which helped the burrito look as large as my weak forearms.

Being wrapped in a flour tortilla with sauces and warm proteins and then all that being wrapped in a foil wrapper, I expected the hash browns to be soggy from sitting in that saucy sauna. But they still had a bit of crispness to them as I ate my way through the burrito.

Although the bacon and pepper jack cheese don’t add much to the Jack in the Box Grande Sausage Breakfast Burrito, the sausage, sriracha, eggs, cheddar cheese sauce, and hash browns more than make up for them. The breakfast burrito has a lot of flavor and a variety of textures, and, overall, it makes me one happy human with small forearms.

(Nutrition Facts – 1044 calories, 632 calories from fat, 70 grams of fat, 20 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 391 milligrams of cholesterol, 2132 milligrams of sodium, 532 milligrams of potassium, 68 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 36 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Grande Sausage Breakfast Burrito
Purchased Price: $3.89*
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Makes my forearms look small. Creamy sriracha sauce has enough flavor that the included salsa is unnecessary. Hash browns are still a little crispy. Sausage provides all the salty, greasy, and porky goodness.
Cons: Makes my forearms look small. Bacon crumbles and pepper jack cheese don’t add much. Sriracha lacks heat. Sad animals.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Jack in the Box Croissant Donuts

Jack in the Box Croissant Donuts

Are you one of those people who hate greeting cards that are booby trapped with confetti and glitter because, despite how careful you are, you end up showering your floor with sparkling envelope puke?

If that bothers you, I’d suggest you avoid Jack in the Box’s new Croissant Donuts because there’s a good chance you’ll get cinnamon sugar everywhere. But if that doesn’t bother you or it does bother you, but you have an awesome vacuum, love ants, or you’re eating them at a location where you don’t care if you make a mess, like at a Jack in the Box restaurant, you shouldn’t hesitate picking up the fast food croissant donut hybrid.

In 2013, Dunkin’ Donuts in South Korea and Krispy Kreme in the Philippines were the first major fast food chains to offer knockoffs of Dominique Ansel’s popular Cronut. But both specialize in donuts, so it’s not really impressive. However, having a burger chain like Jack in the Box attempt to make a Cronut knockoff is impressive…and a bit scary.

Jack’s Croissant Donuts are made with buttery croissant dough rolled in cinnamon sugar. They’re served warm and sprinkled with more cinnamon sugar, which provides all the flavor. Oh wait. Did I say “sprinkled”? I meant to say suffocated with cinnamon sugar. Each one is around 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 inches wide, but just like the spiky hair on my head makes me look slightly taller, the cinnamon sugar coating on the Croissant Donuts make them look slightly bigger.

I bought a 3-piece serving and, at the bottom of the sleeve they came in, there was enough cinnamon sugar to make a batch of snickerdoodles jealous. If I tilted the sleeve at a wrong angle, it would’ve meant sparkling sleeve puke everywhere. And I have a horrible vacuum cleaner.

Jack in the Box Croissant Donuts Innards

The Croissant Donut’s innards don’t have that impressive flaky layered look that Cronuts have. Instead, it looked more like airy bread, but at least the innards’ texture was soft. The outer shell wasn’t oily and had a nice crispiness, although some of that crunch could’ve been the heavy cinnamon sugar layer. The exterior was also a smidge tough, but not enough to take away from how wonderful these Croissant Donuts are.

I’m not a huge fan of Jack in the Box’s previous warm desserts, like their Mini Churros, Mini Cookies, and Brownie Bites, so I came in with low expectations. But these Croissant Donuts are a sweet tooth satisfying dessert that I would see myself buying again, even if they force me to have a vacuum at the ready whenever I bring them home.

Jack in the Box Croissant Donuts Closeup

(Nutrition Facts – 1 pieces – 136 calories, 56 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 58 milligrams of sodium, 21 milligrams of potassium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Jack in the Box Croissant Donuts
Purchased Price: $2.69*
Size: 3 pieces
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Suffocated with cinnamon sugar. Slightly crispy exterior. Sweet tooth satisfying. Not oily. Soft innards. Best when served warm. Much better than most previous warm Jack in the Box desserts. Strong vacuums.
Cons: Can be messy if you’re not careful. Exterior is slightly tough. Doesn’t have that neat flaky layered look. Having a piece of crap vacuum. Doesn’t have a creme filling like real Cronuts. Booby trapped greeting cards.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

QUICK REVIEW: Jack in the Box Jalapeño Ranch Ultimate Cheeseburger

Jack in the Box Jalapeno Ranch Ultimate Cheeseburger

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Jack in the Box
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Jalapeños provide almost all of the flavor and a little bit of heat. Jalapeño in every bite. Awesome if your taste buds are tired of eating regular Jack in the Box Ultimate Cheeseburgers. Although it’s almost all jalapeño, it’s a tasty burger. Ranch sauce and cheese give the burger a slightly creamy texture which kind of makes you forget about the slightly dry beef patties. Enough ranch sauce to make salads jealous.
Cons: Even with enough ranch sauce to make salads jealous, its flavor is overwhelmed by the jalapeños. Heck, the flavor of the ranch sauce, meat, and cheese take a back seat to the jalapeños, and that back seat is on a school bus. Let’s be honest, all Ultimate Cheeseburgers aren’t even close to being “ultimate.” I mean, if I add another beef patty and another slice of cheese, then that’s proof the Ultimate Cheeseburger isn’t the ultimate.

Jack in the Box Jalapeno Ranch Ultimate Cheeseburger Topless

Nutrition Facts: 797 calories, 432 calories from fat, 48 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 3 grams of trans fat, 147 milligrams of cholesterol, 1783 milligrams of sodium, 545 milligrams of potassium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, and 50 grams of protein.